FOR those of you that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, I’d like to start by telling you a bit about myself, why I’m running and what I’d like to achieve if elected as MP.
I live in North Leamington with my wife (a local primary school teacher) and daughter. Last year, I finished a nine-year career in the property profession to return to university. Away from work, I’ve been playing for Leamington Hockey Club for the last ten years and in that time have also coached on a voluntary basis and held positions on the committee. One of the club’s greatest achievements in recent years has been to set up a junior section that has encouraged hundreds of young people to play sport outside of school. Not only are sports clubs great for staying fit, they are also pillars of the local community and through Leamington Hockey Club, I’ve been able to meet people from all over the constituency and from all walks of life. On top of this, I’ve been working closely with the Lib Dem councillors in North Leamington in recent years on a number of campaigns to try and improve our community.
I’m standing in this election because I would like to offer our community a choice when it comes to Brexit. If Theresa May becomes Prime Minister on June 8, then a very small number of people are going to be negotiating the Brexit that suits them either financially or electorally. That is why, once Brexit is negotiated, I would like a second referendum so that the people of Britain have the right to say whether the deal that has been negotiated suits them. If we are going to leave the European Union, then we have to make sure that it’s on advantageous terms. Let us consider for a moment the far-reaching implications of Brexit.
Let’s start with British industry. If Theresa May insists that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, this will see import tariffs put on goods that are sold to the European Union. This will make our goods more expensive to Europeans and therefore less likely to be sold. If company’s outputs fall, then jobs will be lost. This is not scaremongering; this is what will happen if we get a bad deal. The trade deals with the rest of the world that are talked about will take time to negotiate and there could be a period of several years before the trade we lose with the EU is replaced.
Job losses will not only cause great hardship to individuals, they will also lower the amount of tax that the government receives. This tax revenue is the money that is used to pay for our public services such as health, education and pensions. To get round this problem, the Government will either have to raise taxes for those who still have jobs or borrow yet more money. Nobody’s first choice is higher taxes, and there are limits to increased borrowing. Every pound that we borrow we have to pay interest on, and every pound that is spent on paying interest is a pound that it not spent on public services.
For those people who say that a second referendum is undemocratic I say fine, tell me what our Brexit deal is going to look like then? The British people were asked to vote blind last year with the decision based on speculation and untruths. Once we know who Brexit is going to benefit, let us have a vote from a position of knowledge. If Theresa May is so sure that Brexit is going to be to the advantage of the British people, then why is she so scared to let us have a say on the final deal?
With an issue such as this affecting both our country and our constituency – with its healthy, export-driven, manufacturing sector – we need an MP who will stand up for us in the House of Commons. Brexit is the issue that they will write about in the history books and we need people who will ask questions of the Government, not just toe the party line and rubber stamp whatever Theresa tells them to. If we get a bad Brexit, it is our businesses and our public services that will suffer. Please trust me to go to Westminster and ask the questions that we all need answers to.